U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was named a conferee on the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY 2008, which passed the Senate late last night. As a conferee, Alexander will be a key negotiator reconciling the Senate version of the legislation with the House version before sending the final bill to the White House for the president to sign it into law.
“I’m pleased the Senate passed legislation that funds the Department of Homeland Security to help prevent terrorist attacks and secure our borders.” said Alexander. “This is also good news for Memphis as $4.5 million dollars will go directly to the city’s Urban Area Security Initiative – a program to improve the training and equipping of the first responders – who are essential to keeping our nation safe.”
The Homeland Security Appropriations Bill includes a total of $40.6 billon dollars for Fiscal Year 2008. Among other provisions, the bill will fund the training and equipping of emergency workers as well as to help expedite airport security and screening. The legislation also funds programs for equipping firefighters and provides $3 billion for programs dealing with illegal immigration.
This bill – which passed the Senate 89 to 4 – will now be sent to the conference to reconcile differences with the House version of the bill. It must then be passed by both chambers before going to the president. Alexander, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Homeland Security, will participate in those negotiations.